Monday, July 14, 2014

HarbourCats waste stellar outing from Mikey Wright

Mikey Wright
The powerful Bellingham Bells defeated the HarbourCats 2-1 on Monday night in spite of a masterful outing from Mikey Wright, giving the Bells their fourth win in four games against Victoria this season. The loss leaves the struggling ‘Cats a whopping 11.5 games behind the first-place Bells in the West Division and five games behind the Bend Elks in the wild card race. Unless something dramatic and unexpected happens, the 13-18 HarbourCats are done for the season. You can go ahead and stick a fork in ‘em. On the plus side, the sun will still be shining and the beer will still be cold when the team returns to RAP on Thursday.

Early Monday morning the team announced that both Alex Garcia and Devin Carter have been released. Garcia has returned home due to family reasons and apparently Devin Carter is returning home for “academic reasons”. Given the recent turmoil in the HarbourCats’ clubhouse, one has to wonder if he requested his release at least in part due to lack of playing time. Carter hit .121 in 33 at-bats this season, but only six of those at-bats came in his last nine games with the team. The loss of Carter still leaves the team with six outfielders and at least four others (Fagalde, Torres-Costa, Barnett and Clark) who can play some outfield in a pinch. It's safe to say that we're covered.

In the same Monday morning press release, it was revealed that Noah Cummings was left behind for the Bellingham trip due to a “hand injury.” Cummings has hit .175 in 40 at-bats this summer, but he has only had three at-bats in the seven games prior to the Bellingham trip.

Monday night’s loss wasted an incredible effort from Wright, who limited the Bells to only three hits and two walks over eight innings. Wright struck out eight, but he threw a total of 106 pitches on the night. That high pitch count is yet another example of a HarbourCats pitcher being overused this summer. In fact, it's the seventh time in 2014 that a ‘Cats pitcher has thrown more than 100 pitches in a game -- a number that a pitcher under the age of 25 should never exceed in order to protect the long-term health of his arm. The seven instances are:
  • July 14 - Mikey Wright, 106 pitches
  • July 9 - Tim Peabody, 112 pitches
  • July 7 - Mikey Wright, 104 pitches
  • July 7 - Preston Ryan, 109 pitches (relief)
  • June 24 - Logan Lombana, 104 pitches
  • June 17 - Andrew Nelson, 104 pitches
  • June 13 - Alex Garcia, 102 pitches
By contrast, Corvallis, the model franchise in the West Coast League, has only allowed a hurler to throw 100 or more pitches in a game on one occasion (June 24th). Let’s hope that the HarbourCats can avoid any more of these extended outings this summer, because not only can the team ill-afford any injuries, but the long-term health of our pitchers must always be paramount.

  • The roster for next Monday’s WCL All-Star Game will be announced tomorrow morning. I would expect Hunter Mercado-Hood, Nathan Lukes, Alex Rogers and Mikey Wright to make the team from the HarbourCats. However, considering what I saw with last year’s team, don’t be surprised if there are some major snubs and a few guys on the team whose performance doesn't merit their selection.
  • Preston Ryan gets the start on Tuesday night in the middle game of the Bellingham series. It will be his first start of the summer and his first appearance since his marathon 109-pitch relief outing on July 7th. Alex Rogers gets the ball on Wednesday night for the HarbourCats.
  • Wyler Smith batted ninth in Monday's game. Was this a coincidence given Bubba's blog post on Sunday? Just sayin'.


  1. Mikey Wright is a stud. His WHIP is a miniscule 0.85 and he is third in the league in strikeouts (3 behind the leader who has 40). He seems to be handling the heavy pitch count load OK, but agree, long term is what he needs to be careful of.

    As for All-Stars, I'd add that Sean Watkins has a shot as well...we shall see!

  2. What's the deal with the Bells' pitcher Zach Johnson picking off 3 base runners? That could have cost us a run?

  3. We make a LOT of errors on the paths. That's all coaching.